Flower Girl Dress, Part 10: Try On & Finishing

Finally the dress was at a state where I felt I could safely and productively try it on. I held my breath and struggled a bit to keep the lining, still loose inside, from bunching up too badly, and then zip, and phew! It fit.

After watching a few stepping mishaps, it became obvious that the skirt needed to be a touch shorter. Other than that, everything looked good.

With the question of bodice fit settled, it was now time to settle down into one of my favorite parts: curling up on the couch with needle and thread for some relaxing hand work. I started by mitering the satin corners up by the zipper, and then doing the same to the lining corners and tacking them down along with the rest of the raw edge of the lining.

I also added a hook closure and a thread eye at the top of the zipper. I finished by securing the lining around the bottom edge.

The original dress has 18 quarter inch satin covered shank buttons sewn along the zipper line at the back.

They aren't functional, because no one in their right mind wants to spend 20 minutes with a crochet hook pulling elastic loops over buttons on a squirmy toddler, but they are quite pretty. I looked high and low for satin buttons that small and came up empty. The best I could do were 3/8" dome-shaped buttons in a shiny ivory plastic.

They were very pretty, but when I started sewing them on, I was not pleased with the effect. The shanks were rather deep, and since the buttons weren't actually going through buttonholes, they just ended up tottering drunkenly rather than standing up in a neat line. After sewing 5 of my 20 buttons I reconsidered. Between the 2" to be covered by the sash and the rest that was going to be covered by some long and curly locks, I figured they wouldn't be missed. Not to mention the bonus of eliminating the possibility of the afore-mentioned long curly locks becoming snarled around the shank to the righteous indignation of their owner. So I removed the buttons I had attached so far.

I was also going to add belt loop, but after 10 minutes of miniature macrame work with needle and thread, it occurred to me that belt loops are only really useful if the belt needs to be removed. Otherwise, 5 minutes with a needle and thread will do a much better job of keeping it in place. The sash was provided by the bride and groom at the rehearsal dinner, so it was short work to make a few small stitches at 4 points around the bottom edge to anchor it to the waist seam before the following day's ceremony.

I totally winged the shortening process. Based on a quick look during the fitting, I thought I needed to take about 2" off the organza layer, so I sat down with a pair of scissors and did it. Followed by a trip to the machine for re-hemming. And then another sit down with scissors to trim the net and tull layers so that they were only slightly longer than the organza layer. After I was done, I didn't dare go through another try-on, lest I discover I had to do it all over again. Because it would be much better to discover that at the last minute, on the wedding day, when I couldn't do anything about it, donchaknow? It's amazing what suffering from a bad cold the week before a long-planned cross-country trip can do to your powers of logic.

Continue: Part 11, Big Day.

- Victoria, 2012-04-21

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